Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) is the most common cause of death globally. It occurs when the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle become hardened and narrowed caused by the buildup of cholesterol and plaque on their inner walls. Each year, over 3 M patients worldwide undergo a percutaneous coronary intervention, a minimally invasive procedure in which a coronary stent is placed at the location of the plaque to open the blocked artery. This placement is often guided with an imaging catheter, such as OCT and IVUS. However, these current imaging technologies cannot sufficiently identify vulnerable plaque to place stents and guide medication therapy optimally. This insufficient diagnosis and treatment of vulnerable plaque lead to costly and health impairing re-catheterizations affecting over 175.000 patients worldwide.
The current global Intravascular Coronary Imaging market is estimated to be around € 750 M per year, a market which is currently mainly served by a few large players, including Phillips, Abbotte, Boston Scientific and Terumo. The market is expected to reach a value of > € 1.2 B by 2025. One of the main reasons for this growth is the growing awareness among physicians regarding the need for intravascular imaging for intervention guidance.
Kaminari Medical is developing a catheter that combines intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) and pho toacoustic imaging (PA) into IVPA that provides the physician with better information on both plaque location and composition. IVPA can identify and characterize dangerous plaques which will result in the pre-emptive treatment of these plaques, also at sites in the coronary arteries that are not currently the cause of the acute symptoms. Expected is that IVPA prevents 50% of all recatheriziations, reducing the repeted procedures with > 100.000 and saving over 1B.
A validated Proof of Principle has been demonstrated and the solution will be developed into a catheter in combination with a console to use in a first clinical trial. The Kaminari Medical technology has been granted a European, US and Japenese patent.
Prof. Ton van der Steen
Dr. Gijs van Soest
Venture Partner at NLC